The Perception of Values

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Postby pinky » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:52 am

Hi insider
Share the same sentiments with you. To me, dialect is not language and
should not be seemed as an obstacle to learning languages. Dialects
are part of our roots and we should preserve them at all costs. I find it
so sad that grandparents have to learn Mandarin or English in order to
communciate with their grandchildren. I know of cases where illiterate
grandparents have difficulties catching up and thus having minimal verbal
conversations with their grandchildren. So who's fault is it?
Already we have seen our youth and even our generation not able to
speak dialects and communicate with the elders. If you go to any govt
dept, it is very common to see the elderly trying to address their queries
in Mandarin or Malay and whenever they speak in dialects, you can see
the blank looks on the face of the staff serving them. So to me, not
knowing dialects is an obstacle to conversation and not the other way
round!!!
I love to speak in dialects and I am conversant in Hokkien, Teochew and
Cantonese and they really helped me to open up to more people. I speak
to my hubby and my family members in Hokkien and I taught my son
Hokkien since he was a toddler. He is not as conversant but is able to carry on
a conversation with my sister in Hokkien. I do teach him some
basic Teochew and Cantonese too. Sadly, the exposure is not as much as
I would love to but I guess it is better than not knowing at all.
I lament the lack of foresight of those who deemed dialects as obstacles
to learning languages and they are the ones who are really STUPID for
not being able to apppreciate and understand the importance of preserving our heritage.
They may be super-smart scholars with all the A* in academic achievement but they score a Z in their 'heartware'!! :x
May they be forgiven for their extreme short-sightedness and realise their foolishness before it is too late :pray:

pinky
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Postby Guest » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:14 am

The point is proven that we grow up as better adults in linguistic capabilities without the constraints imposed. Children today can only manage one language called English and it is not good English, unfortunately, especially the spoken.

The idea of eliminating all dialects to make Chinese a stronger mother tongue obviously has failed sadly. If you look at the children attending the preschool chinese enrichment, it is even more obvious the decision is a bad one. In fact, many children hated learning Mandarin because there is no environment to support it.
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Postby winth » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:41 am

My boys speak Hokkien, though DS2 (22 months) can only blurt aai (yes) and maai (no), but he understands them perfectly. They usually cause grandmothers and grandfathers to stop and listen to them when they speak to us in Hokkien. And they would give us 'thumbs up' for not letting go of 'now known as a stupid' dialect.

Maybe it was really how brains pick up languages, DS1 is very strong in his Chinese though English is predominantly spoken next to Hokkien. And he's taken Japanese well too.

Pity we couldn't teach them Cantonese though I can understand but my fluency in Cantonese really deterioriated over the years. Now we are letting them listen to the malaysian radio station for the exposure.

Was very angry too when I read the article and it's even worse when we know the article came from the MM's office.

I've known 'ang moh sai' who speaks only English and finds Mandarin a complete uncool language. But you know, they can't even write or do as well as me - the 'chinna'. Though, yes, they have the accent there when they speak but mostly broken English.

Sad for those who still think English beats everything. Haven't they read about China being the largest potential market?

winth
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Postby pinky » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:57 am

If Mandarin is so important bec China is the up and coming 'superpower' and we need to communicate with them (1.3 billion and counting),
1. why are China parents sending their kids here in droves to study bec we have a 'bilingual based education' ? :?
2. Won't it be better if we send our kids to China to be educated from young bec the environment there is more conducive?

pinky
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Postby hunter » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:42 pm

I'm a Cantonese...my hubby is also a Cantonese. When we started out as friends, we spoke to each other in English & Mandarin...but after we progressed to dating stage, we decided to speak to each other in Cantonese.

Now with 2 kids...we spoke to them in Cantonese too. We want our kids to be able to communicate in Cantonese with their grandparents. I always feel that there is a certain level of intimacy in a human relationship that only a dialect can help to achieve. It's about preserving our roots too...I'm really proud to be a Cantonese...I hope my kids learn to appreciate its value too...

hunter
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:46 pm

Yuh... I catch myself counting in Cantonese sometimes :shock: Somehow, when I find someone that speaks the same dialect that I used with my mother, it is almost camaraderie at first speech :love: . We automatically become the best of friends for that brief period of interaction.

IMO, there is nothing wrong with speaking in dialects if we already know it. There is also nothing wrong with imparting dialects to our children, because we KiasuParents will definitely make sure that our kids are gurus at English and Chinese first. No need for the garmen to keep reminding us lah.

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Postby pinky » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:13 pm

Agree with you, Chief.
Those immortals just don't get it, do they? :stupid:
Living too long in their ivory towers and lost track with what is happening
at ground level.

pinky
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Postby MLR » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:39 pm

A personal experience to share:

My mum is illiterate, and she speaks Hakka, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hainanese and Malay effectively. Her Mandarin is good enough to understands news and English is effectively understood by my foreigner hub. She recently pick up Shanghainese from a new neighbour. I am very proud of her language abilities and always regret not learning them from her. I myself speaks Hokkien, Teochew effectively, understands Hakka and Cantonese.

When I was young I had once spoken aloud that if my mum had went to school, she will make a great language teacher, since she has great linguistic abilities. My aunt who is a JC teacher and she always viewed herself as the scholar in the family said that if my mum had went to school, she wouldn't have the capacity to learn all the dialects then......HUH????

Pple who viewed themselves as above others are most times frogs in well, since they only always only looked up. Just my 2 cents worth.

MLR
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Postby pinky » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:36 pm

To MLR
I guess your aunt meant if your mum had gone to school, she would only
spoke English and Mandarin and not the dialects that she had mastered.
This is what is happening now.

pinky
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Postby MLR » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:01 pm

pinky wrote:To MLR
I guess your aunt meant if your mum had gone to school, she would only
spoke English and Mandarin and not the dialects that she had mastered.
This is what is happening now.


I do wish that was what she meant.... but this aunt always think that everyone else in the family is not as smart/pretty/rich/sophisticated/well educated/knowledgable as her. She had the opportunity to do her degree in Perth and decided to join teaching profession later in life. Her fav words to us nieces and nephews are: "aunty knows best, if you feel your parents cannot help you, you know who to call". Recently 2 of my cousins came back from Melbourne U, both sisters grad with Honours, one in Bio-tech and another in Bio-Science. Both with A*Star now, so we decided next time we get together, we will change to uncle and his wife knows best b'cos they have 2 children whom are the most educated in our family :rotflmao:

MLR
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